England netball: Jess Thirlby names first Roses squad since replacing Tracey Neville

England Netball
Eboni Usuro-Brown (far left) and Jade Clarke (far right) are not included in the 25-player full time England squad

England have named 25 players on their full-time programme, including nine of the squad that won bronze at this summer's World Cup in Liverpool.

It is the first major announcement by new coach Jess Thirlby who replaced Tracey Neville in July.

Captain Serena Guthrie is included alongside Australia-based players Geva Mentor, Helen Housby, Layla Guscoth, Natalie Haythornthwaite and Jo Harten.

Former Australia defender Kate Shimmin is a surprise inclusion.

The 27-year-old Adelaide Thunderbirds player represented the Diamonds in two international Fast5 series, in 2014 and 2016, but is eligible to play for England because she has dual citizenship.

Shimmin joins Sydney-born Chelsea Pitman, 31, who won the World Cup with Australia in 2011 before switching to play for the Roses in 2017 having qualified through her Yorkshire-born father, in the squad.

Players unable to commit to the full-time programme, which started in 2016, could still play for England via the 'P3' process, they include Rachel Dunn, Jade Clarke, Eboni Usuro-Brown and Kadeen Corbin.

Dunn, 36, who is an NHS research scientist, used this route to play at the recent World Cup, while Usuro-Brown, who won her 100th England cap during the same tournament, is a qualified lawyer.

Clarke, 35, who has played in five World Cups and is the most-capped England player of all time, was part of the squad which won Commonwealth gold in 2018.

Wing defence Beth Cobden returns to the fold after missing the tournament in Liverpool after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament, as does her Commonwealth gold-winning team-mate Jodie Gibson, who was absent for the whole 2019 domestic season because of injury.

Thirlby says she is "looking forward" to working with the team as she heads into another "exciting" year for the sport.

The former team Bath coach added: "Each year of the Roses programme is critical for different reasons as we now start to look ahead and prepare for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the South Africa Netball World Cup in 2023."

Kate Shimmin of Adelaide Thunderbirds
Adelaide Thunderbirds defender Kate Shimmin has been called into the England set-up for the first time

England full-time players for 2019-20 season:

Beth Cobden, Layla Guscoth, Jo Harten, Helen Housby, Geva Mentor, Chelsea Pitman, Kate Shimmin, Natalie Haythornthwaite, Rebekah Airey, Summer Artman, Eleanor Cardwell, Ella Clark, Iona Darroch, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis, George Fisher, Jodie Gibson, Serena Guthrie, Laura Malcolm, Gabriella Marshall, Vicki Oyesola, Natalie Panagarry, Yasmin Parsons, Razia Quashie, Jessica Shaw and Fran Williams.

Roses Futures programme: Halimat Adio, Olivia Tchine, Imogen Allison and Amy Carter.

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